What is Pickleball?

Pickleball is a sport played with a racket that combines elements from badminton, tennis, and ping pong.

The game is played on a court with the same measurements as badminton doubles. The net is similar to a tennis net, but a little lower. The game is played with a hard “paddle” and a hard, hollow plastic ball with holes in it.

Even though pickleball is like tennis, there are important differences that make pickleball especially more accessible for children and seniors. The most important difference is the speed of the ball. A pickleball ball travels at about a third of the average speed of a tennis ball. It is equally important that the court is somewhat less than a third of the total area of a tennis court. The smaller surface area combined with the slower ball speed, and an underhand serve make pickleball easier to play than tennis.

The game is the fastest growing game in the USA with more than 4.2 million players. The tipping point was around 5 years ago. Now Pickleball Courts are popping up all over the country including in retirement communities.  The game started to take off in the UK around 2011 and now has over 120 Places to play and over 4,000 estimated players.

CLICK HERE for a detailed video explanation on How to Play Pickleball

CLICK HERE to download a pdf of the Basic Rules below.

How Can I Try Pickleball?

It couldn’t be easier to have a go at Pickleball at The Northumberland Club and discover for yourself just how much fun it is!
No special equipment is required and any comfortable clothing is fine. Trainers / tennis shoes are recommended. The club has plenty of paddles and balls to borrow and the club has invested in 4 pickleball nets that are used indoors on our badminton courts.

Every week the club runs an INTRODUCTION to PICKLEBALL session with a coach which you can drop in when you like for guidance and to understand the rules. This is on most Saturdays and can be booked on line:

The Northumberland Club / Coaching

Members and non-members can book courts to play Pickleball at the club. For FULL ADULT CATEGORIES or ADULT SAVER memberships this is free. Other membership types and non-members this is £6 per person per hour.


The club has an active Pickleball following and we host four sessions per week open to members and non-members.  Our latest timetable can be found here: The Northumberland Club / Sports Hall

Sessions run on a Wednesday 11:00,  Friday for competitive players 19:00, Saturday club play 15:00 and Sunday social 11:00.  These sessions are free to ADULT/ADULT SAVER/FAMILY/COUPLES memberships and start at £6 per session for non members and other categories.


Our head coach John Henderson hosts a monthly doubles tournament throughout the winter open to members and non members. The first one is on Sunday September 24th -Pickleball Doubles Challenge; 10am – 12pm £12 including lunch in the bar afterwards. Look out on our events page for the next events coming up. No need to have a partner, those who sign up in advance will be assigned one if needed.

The Northumberland Club / The Northumberland Club / Events

January 2023 starting Monday 22nd Pickleball Club Champs starts; Mens/Ladies/Mixed doubles events.

Rules/dates format TBC. Suggested Finals Day Saturday 10th FEB.